「まだ大気圏／わたしを好きな人」 (Mada Taikiken / Watashi o Suki na Hito)
“Still Up In The Air / The One Who Likes Me”
Welp no denying it now: Yagakimi’s adaptation has fully won me over. Third episode or not the show has done an amazing job so far of turning good source material into even better TV, and the best part is we haven’t reached the good stuff just yet. Not like it’s too hard to tell what’s coming though, between Touko’s partial opening up and Yuu’s end credit foreshadowing this yuri love story is soon to be upon more turbulent waters.
While I’ve highlighted before how Yagakimi embraces the more humble side of romance, this episode really drives home the point in the interactions between Yuu and Touko. Whether or not Touko’s reason for interest in Yuu is a little cliché (even if we don’t know the full extent of it yet *hint hint*), you cannot deny scenes like this are amazing, realistic, and incredibly cute to boot. Romances in general often overlook how vulnerability can be more than simple fan service cannon fodder and how (in part) it can function instead as a driver of an organic relationship. Touko for example is not looking for the physical side of love from Yuu, but rather the emotional release. She wants Yuu because Yuu sees through the veil, she sees Touko for what she is, and—most importantly—does not turn away from it. For Touko whom we can garner has never experienced this before (even with Sayaka) its potent catnip and definitely the main reason she’s so smitten with Yuu. The chance to be yourself around someone else is a dream we all have at one point or another, especially if the other person comes to enjoy your company in return.
Where things start getting interesting in this relationship though is in how Yuu winds up responding. As mentioned above the girl is certainly coming around on the idea of being friends with Touko, but is far from seeing the student council president in a similar light. For Yuu Touko is almost like a puppy, someone who loves you dearly (and unconditionally) but you cannot fathom the particular reason why. There’s the potential for this to change at any time of course, but given Yuu’s own mental predicament likely not immediately—at least until you factor in that remark on Touko’s newfound specialness. Yuu’s problems with love stem more from her expectations than any issue with her potential suitor(s), she wants the person to sweep her off her feet and make her heart flutter immediately. Most of the time this never leads to finding anyone capable of such an act (perfection is not so easily found in real life), so when Yuu actually puts some thought into Touko and discovers a reason for her actions, lo and behold a shifting of emotions. Yuu is slowly learning that love is not a one-way street where you can always be the recipient, it is a state which requires effort from everyone involved and only through personal investment can a proper relationship bloom. She may not envision Touko as her knight in shining armour, but Touko’s interest and hidden side has sparked curiosity in Yuu, and that curiosity will be plenty to start pushing this pair forward.
It may only be early days yet in Yuu’s and Touko’s relationship, but you can bet things are now ready to really get moving between them.